Gangsters, turtles, WWII tank commanders and recovering former Downton Abbey stars all got trailers of their own this week.
So many trailers dropped this week that it’s really easy to shunt all the bad ones into this opening paragraph and pretend that they barely even exist. So here goes: among those released were trailers for a sequel to a film that shouldn’t have been a hit, an ultra-middlebrow Errol Flynn biopic, and another charmless Kevin Hart wotsit. There was also the trailer for Hollywood’s latest white saviour movie, The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon attempting to win another Oscar and produced by someone who was also responsible for The Blind Side, because of course they were behind this.
Special mention, though, must go to the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, which is so bad on so many levels that it’ll make you wonder what the point of cinema even is anymore. Let’s try and break it down: it’s a Michael Bay movie that Michael Bay couldn’t even be bothered to direct, with his Transformers replaced by the badly CGI’d products of what look like a failed experiment to cross man with a Glyptodon, and the best part is that these trash-talking freaks are just as happy threatening women as they are throwing people into moving trains. Then the dubstep kicks in, and you can’t help but feel like you’ve lost IQ points just watching this thing.
Much less stupid and cynical, and much more sweet and heartfelt, is the new trailer for Love is Strange. This romance between John Lithgow and Alfred Molina’s couple of almost four decades has already garnered rave reviews, and it’s easy to see why – the tenderness of the film comes through in the trailer’s mere two minutes, while all that talk of Lithgow and Molina giving performances of a lifetime already seems perfectly justified.
The Hunger Games is a movie franchise that people like to pretend is great, when deep down they know it’s mostly pretty average, only they’re just thankful it’s not another Divergent, or Twilight, or The Host, or any other indistinguishable glob of YA goz. Still, the teaser trailer for Mockingjay, Part 1 at least plays to the series’ strengths, by emphasising the films’ satirical edge and putting the marvellous Donald Sutherland front and centre, in a mock television broadcast that isn’t massively different from the Queen’s Christmas Message.
After jumping ship from some dusty ITV drama about olden days people that are sad about being rich, Dan Stevens is taking steps to prove he’s actually a dangerous leading man, and not just a walking, talking English muffin with TE Lawrence’s haircut. The result so far has been A Walk Among the Tombstones, which unleashed a promo of its own a couple of weeks back, and The Guest, which this week got a moody trailer marked with indie cred and sinister intrigue, plus Stevens making for a menacing mystery figure with a penchant for being violent and really, really buff. The film looks, tonally and visually, like a mixture of Blue Ruin and Simon Killer, ergo promising.
If there’s an actor more intense than Tom Hardy, then he’s probably locked away in an institution somewhere, told he needs to “calm down” before he’s allowed to go outside and continue intimidating everyone in his eyeline. But in The Drop’s new trailer, Hardy takes on a rare everyman quality, the rest of the cast emerging from the Bane-sized shadow to make poor Tom look comparatively normal. This might be because everyone else in The Drop appears to be a cold-blooded gangster, from Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (who’s rocked up with what could be the most convincing international stab at a regional American accent since Nastassja Kinski in Paris, Texas), to the late James Gandolfini, who makes his final screen appearance in a film that could finally bring him an (regrettably posthumous) Oscar nomination.
It’s got a hit-and-miss director behind the lens. It’s got paper bag-wearing method madman Shia LaBeouf as one of the stars. It’s a WWII action movie based around the exploits of a lone Allied tank crew. That’s a lot of shaky prospects and risky what ifs, but that doesn’t stop the first proper promo for David Ayer’s Fury taking trailer of the week – just look at the thing, all full of war machines, dirt, proper 1940s men looking upset, and dialogue so macho it could take out a Nazi at 200 yards. If the final movie is still a bit of a question mark, the film certainly looks the part on the basis of this preview. With an Oscar-friendly release date and an incredible cast to spend most our time with, chances are good that Fury won’t break Brad Pitt’s current winning streak.
Read more: Last week in trailers
Featured image: Sony Pictures Releasing